What is PowerPivot?

PowerPivot does not come preloaded with Office Word 2010. You need to download and install it on your computer. You can download PowerPivot from www.powerpivot.com (official site by Microsoft)

After you install PowerPivot and open Word you will see that PowerPivot has its own tab called “PowerPivot”. It is usually positioned at the end of the top ribbon section. PowerPivot ribbon is broken into several sections:


  1. Lunch
  2. Measures
  3. Report
  4. Excel Data
  5. Options
  6. Show/Hide
  7. Relationship

We’ll go over each section in more details in our other tutorials. The PowerPivot window is actually a separate window from the main worksheet you are working on. It will open up along with main worksheet though. This PowerPivot window cannot be opened by itself and always part of the worksheet you are trying to work with. Switching between windows is not difficult and you can do that by using “Switch to Workbook” button in the Quick Access tool.

PowerPivot window has its own ribbon with two tabs: Home and Design. This window is the place for you to work with the underlying data that you need to analyze. This is also the place where you set up import process for data from databases, data dump files or other sources of structured data.

In actuality, there are three different ways to import data into PowerPivot


  1. Import data from external sources
  2. Import from Clipboard group
  3. Link to an Excel Table or an Excel Range

The important part of this data import/linking process is that you can employ variety of methods. This allows you do connect dispersed data sets from across multiple source and multiple formats. As you can see, the PowerPivot becomes more than just a pivot, it is in fact a data mart with its own, easy to implement, ETL operations.

Here is incomplete list of source the PowerPivot can get data from:


  1. Text Files
  2. Access DB
  3. DBMS – SQL, Oracle, DB2, Sybase
  4. BI Tools – SSRS, SSIS, OLAP Cubes

How about adding PowerPivot to SharePoint and using SQ Azure. It does come with the latest technologies built right into it.

Finally, the PowerPivot can be used to analyze millions of records. For instance, its 64 bit version can process 2GB worth of data with ease.

In addition, Microsoft released detail PowerPivot Architecture Diagram that can help you understand all of the important components of PowerPivot and how these components interact with each other to make PowerPivot a powerful Business Intelligence tool.

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